Alex Granato piloted Lorena O’Neill/Top Line Farm’s mount Criss Cross to several very successful showings in the Open Jumper classes. In the spring series, they placed 3rd in the 1.30m Class in Week 7 and 2nd in the 1.35m Class in Week 8. They carried that momentum into the July summer series, having an especially successful Week 3 placing 2nd in the 1.30m Open class and 1st in the 1.35m the next day, good for Reserve Champion at that height for the week. In Week 4, they moved up to 1.40m, placing 2nd.
Criss Cross is also quite photogenic back in the barn, being the only chestnut currently in Granato’s string and always eager to provide a cute pose—perhaps preparing for his first Grand Prix presentation photo.
In the hunter ring, Josh Dolan has been amassing the ribbons during the spring and summer series events at Tryon. More impressively, all four of the horses he has been winning with have little to no hunter experience, with some having no show experience at all. This hasn’t stopped Dolan from winning champion, reserve champion and pre-green incentive events with the mounts, in addition to having strong placings in a $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby.
On Dolan’s success despite the horses’ lack of experience, Granato says, “Josh has a very soft touch with the horses and a natural feel, so even when the horse doesn’t have a lot of experience he can be supportive and strong for them but appear to be having a soft round. At the same time, he does a very good job of educating and developing the horse with a correct, supportive ride.”
Mad Season, LLC will be competing in the August show series at Tryon International Equestrian Center in North Carolina as well as taking a brief trip to Kentucky for Young Jumper Finals. They will have a few weeks off from showing in between the Summer and August series where they plan to work with their string at the farm as well as continue to care for and rescue miniature horses through The Peeps Foundation. They also will be doing copious amount of tubing on the Green River and dining at the Hare & Hound.
Alex Granato is a professional show jumper from Salt Lake City, Utah who has competed in Nations Cup competition for the U.S. and won over 40 Grand Prix events. He also runs the show barn Mad Season, LLC, based out of Wellington and Tryon, with professional rider Josh Dolan. They are proudly sponsored by Cavalor, CWD, Equithrive, Farmvet, Premiere Equestrian and Samshield.